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Chalino Sanchez



Rosalino "Chalino" Sanchez (August 30, 1960 – May 16, 1992) was a Mexican singer and songwriter perhaps best known for his narcocorrido recordings. On May 16, 1992, he was murdered in Culiacán, the capital city of the Pacific coastal state of Sinaloa, Mexico. Since his death, his fame and recordings have grown in popularity.

Sanchez was born in El Guayabo and raised in Las Flechas, a very small community known as a "rancho" located in the municipality of Culiacán in Sinaloa, Mexico. His father, Santos Sanchez, and mother, Senorina Felix, had nine children: Armando, Chalino, Sergio, Espiridión, Francisco, Juana, Lázaro, Lucas, and Régulo. From an early age, Sanchez experienced poverty and tragedy. At the age of 6, his father died, and his sister, Juana, was raped by a local "mafioso" (gangster). At the age of 15, Sanchez was at a local party and encountered the rapist. He walked up to him without saying a word and shot him to death. He would later immigrate to the US state of California to escape Mexican authorities.

In 1977, Sanchez and a close friend immigrated to the American state of California with the aid of a human trafficker known as a coyote. Upon his arrival, he began working in the fields of Coachella Valley as well as performing odd jobs. While concentrating on his regular business, Sanchez's sister, Juana Sanchez, introduced him to Maricela Vallejo who would later give birth to two of his children, Adán Sanchez Vallejo and Cynthia Sanchez Vallejo. Maricela is from the Mexican border town of Mexicali, Baja California.

One day while at work, Sanchez was introduced to a man by the name of Ángel Parra, who became interested in his musical talents after hearing a small performance. Ángel Parra arranged for Sanchez to have a meeting at his studio, Angel Studios, and began recording his first demo cassette with a norteño group named Los Cuatro de La Frontera. Various corridos recorded were "Armando Sánchez" ‒ a tribute to his murdered brother, "El Sapo", "Beto López", and "Los Sinaloenses." Ironically, Parra first thought Sanchez's voice was unsuitable for basic norteño music, but after Sanchez released his first demo, his popularity began to grow in the Latino community.

In the late 80's, he began recording with Los Cuatro de La Frontera. Later he would switched groups and join with Los Amables del Norte, producing some of his best songs while associated with them until 1992. He also recorded with various bands like Banda Los Guamuchileños, Banda La Flor del Campo, Banda La Costeña, and Banda Culiacan.

By 1989, Sanchez was recognized throughout California and requests were flowing in for him to sing in various venues being paid in a variety of ways including cash, clothing, vehicles, and guns.

In the early 1990s, Sánchez began performing in various California nightclubs including El Farallón in Lynwood, California; and El Parral Nightclub, a particularly notorious club located in South Gate, California. He also performed at the Keystone Ford Show and Noches de Taconazo. He signed with various record labels including Discos Linda, Cintas Acuario, Balboa, Edimusa, Musart, and later making his own record label called Rosalino Records (RR).

He made his breakthrough in terms of publicity on January 20, 1992. That evening, he was performing at a club in Coachella, California, when a man came up to the stage, pulled a gun, and shot Sánchez in the side. Sánchez immediately pulled out a gun of his own and returned fire. By the end of the evening, the would-be killer was shot to death with his own gun, one other person died on the way to a hospital, and at least five others were wounded. (It was generally believed in Sinaloa that the death toll was higher.)

The shooting made headlines in regional English-language newspapers, not just Spanish-language ones, and even made ABC's World News Tonight. At his next Los Angeles-area appearance, the turnout was so large that the venue, El Parral, had to close its doors at 6 pm, at least five hours before he was scheduled to take the stage.

On May 15, 1992, Chalino performed at his concert in Culiacan, Sinaloa at a place called Salon Las Bugambilias. There he received a written letter with a death threat. While Sánchez was being chauffeured in the early morning hours through the streets of Culiacan the capital city of Sinaloa, he was pulled over by an unmarked Chevy Suburban presumed to be a federal police vehicle. There, the people forced Chalino to go with them saying their boss wanted to see him. Later that morning on May 16, 1992, Sánchez's lifeless body was discovered next to an irrigation canal blindfolded, with his hands tied together, with two execution-style gunshot wounds to the back of the head. Chalino Sánchez is buried at Los Vasitos cemetery in the small town of Los Vasitos, Sinaloa, Mexico.

Adán Sánchez (born April 14, 1984) was the son of Sanchez and a popular Mexican singer in his own right. He died in an automobile accident on March 27, 2004 in Sinaloa. Cynthia Sanchez is the daughter of Sanchez.